Travel cover is a must, even for a 'staycation'
Holidaying in the UK can save money, but be careful not to scrimp on insurance
Sunday 26 July 2009
The 12 million Britons hoping to cut costs by holidaying at home this summer could find themselves out of pocket if they haven't taken out the right travel cover, insurers warned last week.
With the economy still lagging and the pound struggling, many of us are sacrificing a holiday overseas, to save money. But those opting for a "staycation" face the same risks as they would abroad. A domestic flight, say, can be as easily cancelled or delayed as an international flight, and UK holidaymakers are similarly vulnerable to theft or damage to belongings.
"Many Brits may not even consider taking out travel insurance. However, it may be worth considering, especially if they are flying within the UK or taking expensive possessions with them," says Maxine Baker, the manager of travel insurance at Moneysupermarket.com.
Two in five Britons say they are taking their main holiday in the UK this year because of financial concerns, according to insurers Liverpool Victoria. "It's not surprising that holidaymakers are thinking twice about spending their hard-earned wages on expensive overseas holidays. However, UK holidaymakers should remember that travel insurance is still important," says John O'Roarke, the managing director of LV's travel insurance.
According to claims data from insurer AXA, cancellation, baggage and curtailment (cutting a holiday short) are the most common claims made on domestic holidays. Cancellation accounts for half of all AXA's claims, with the average amount claimed being £396. Damage to baggage is next in line with claims averaging at £183, while curtailment claims come in at £339.
But there could be other issues. Anyone travelling to the Channel Islands, for example, will not be covered for medical treatment by their European Heath Insurance Card (EHIC) or the NHS, so falling ill could be costly without medical cover. There could also be the cost of getting home. AXA warns that while medical treatment will be covered by the NHS in the UK, actually getting home will come out of your own pocket if you haven't declared medical conditions to your insurer.
Those taking a caravanning break should ensure they get proper caravan cover as well as car insurance and travel cover, advises Alison Patrick, the head of travel at AXA. "Travel policies will not cover you for damage or theft of the caravan, but will cover you for possessions in the vehicle," she says.
There is also the worry that your holiday firm, like 50 others in the past 12 months, will go bust, according to AA Travel Insurance. Package holidays should be covered by Atol, but the many holidaymakers who prefer to book flights and hotels separately are vulnerable without comprehensive cover. To compensate for the increased danger, AA's travel insurance automatically includes protection against the insolvency of any travel or accommodation supplier, up to £5,000 per person.
"Many travellers believe they are fully protected through their insurance, credit card or travel compensation schemes. But cover is often incomplete and patchy," says Christian Young, the chief executive of AA Travel Insurance.
Despite the pitfalls, almost half of those questioned in a recent survey by comparison site Moneysupermarket.com revealed they would not insure themselves for a holiday in Britain. But insurance for UK breaks is, in the main, reasonably priced. A single-trip policy with OUL Direct costs just £10.29 for a family of four for one week and includes £1,500 cover for baggage, £3,000 for cancellation and £5m for medical expenses. Annual policies can be taken out for around £30, again for a family of four, which will usually work out cheaper if you plan to make more than two trips per year. TopDog offers its Emerald Annual Multi-Trip policy for £32.80 and covers for loss of baggage up to £1,000, cancellation of holiday up to £750 and medical expenses up to £10m.
There are several ways to reduce costs on travel insurance for home and abroad. First, check existing annual policies, as many include UK cover. Conditions vary, so check the fine print for inclusions and exclusions. Campers, say, might have to inform their insurers in advance as their policies will need to reflect the increased risk to possessions. It may be worth taking out specialist insurance. E&L offers standalone cover from £16 per year and covers camping equipment valued up to £10,000.
Holidaymakers should also check their home insurance policies as they may cover belongings outside the home, and premium current account holders who pay a monthly fee may find they have travel insurance as a benefit. Again, check the terms. When buying a policy, it is almost always cheaper to buy directly from the insurer rather than from a tour operator or travel agent.
Q&A: What’s the best way to invest for our baby?
Crowd-to-let: How crowdfunding sites can give investors a slice of the property market for £500
Simon Read: 'Seven Families campaign offers an escape from financial and emotional distress'
After the election: What will Britain's financial future look like on 8 May?
General Election 2015: How you vote next week could affect your finances
- 2 The man who filmed the Freddie Gray video has been arrested at gunpoint
- 4 How the language you speak changes your view of the world
Over 50,000 families shipped out of London boroughs in the past three years due to welfare cuts and soaring rents
EU asylum policy is 'a direct threat to our civilisation', says Nigel Farage
The Rothschild Libel: Why has it taken 200 years for an anti-Semitic slur that emerged from the Battle of Waterloo to be dismissed?
General Election 2015: SNP and its activists 'openly racist' towards the English, Farage says
General Election 2015: UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power, Labour warns
Schools forced to act as 'miniature welfare states' with teachers buying underwear and even haircuts for poor pupils
iJobs Money & Business
£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...
£24000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior SEO Executive is requi...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Online customer Service Admi...
£18000 - £22000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This global, industry leading, ...
Day In a Page
This detached four-bedroom home in Middleyard is arranged over two floors, with features that include a wood-burning stove and bespoke oak staircase.
In a row of eight detached Georgian residences, this five-bedroom home offers views of The Sound, Mount Edgcumbe and Cornwall from its impressive veranda and full-length balcony.
If you love cooking for friends this two-bedroom flat - complete with views of the iconic Battersea Power Station and an open-plan kitchen/dining area - will go down a treat.
Located above Grasmere village, this five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors and offers countryside views across Grasmere Lake towards Silver Howe.
Surrounded by the Western fells, this five-bedroom Georgian home retains many original features including panel-plastered ceilings, sash windows and fireplaces.
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park